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Top 10 NHL Trade Candidates (Goalie Edition): Sergei Bobrovsky and More

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Sergei Bobrovsky #72 of the Florida Panthers reacts as members of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate a goal during the second period in Game Three of the Second Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on May 22, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images via AFP.

Top 10 Centers Trade Candidates I Top 10 Wingers Trade Candidates I Top Defence Trade Candidates

The goaltender trade market does not typically yield blockbuster deals. That’s mostly because goalies do not command a huge return, and no teams are willing to move the goaltenders that might be good enough to bring a massive haul of talent in return.

Nevertheless, it is a position facing some upheaval around the league and there will be some free agent movement at the position, but there could be some trades, too.

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Here are 10 goaltenders that could get traded this offseason (stats courtesy of Natural Stat Trick).

Sergei Bobrovsky, Florida (39-7-3, .913 SV%, 2.67 GAA, 8.6 Goals saved above average)

After a couple of down seasons, the 33-year-old bounced back in 2021-2022. It wasn't back to his Vezina Trophy-winning levels, but still a well above-average season playing for a contender.

Of course, his contract is an albatross, carrying a $10 million cap hit for four more seasons, and the Panthers are reportedly being aggressive in their attempts to move Bobrovsky with salary retained. That might not be enough but, with Spencer Knight ready to take over, the Panthers will be motivated sellers.

Alexandar Georgiev, N.Y. Rangers (15-10-2, .898 SV%, 2.92 GAA, -7.6 GSAA)

If Georgiev ever wants to be a starter, he is likely to have a better chance somewhere outside Manhattan, because Igor Shesterkin should have that position on lockdown for a while with the Rangers.

Georgiev is coming off his worst season, so the timing is not great, but the restricted free agent has generally been a competent backup. The 26-year-old might be able to handle more than that with a new team.

Matt Murray, Ottawa (5-12-2, .906 SV%, 3.05 GAA, -0.5 GSAA)

The 28-year-old was a critical piece of two Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup winners but struggled in his last season with the Penguins and first season with the Senators. He rebounded some in 2021-2022, providing nearly average results in 20 games before getting hurt.

That does not easily justify the $6.25 million cap hit that his contract calls for over the next two seasons, so the Sens might have to massage their way into this trade. However, with Anton Forsberg and Filip Gustavsson a potential bargain tandem in goal, they could afford to retain some salary.  

Petr Mrazek, Toronto (12-6-0, .888 SV%, 3.34 GAA, -9.6 GSAA)

Health has become a major issue for the 30-year-old who has appeared in just 32 games over the past two seasons. Mrazek was an above-average goaltender in three seasons with Carolina but last season in Toronto was the worst of his career. Now, the Leafs either have to figure out how to make it work or find a team that will take his cap hit of $3.8 million over the next two seasons.

If the Leafs make a trade for a big-ticket goaltender, Mrazek’s deal would surely be headed the other way.

John Gibson, Anaheim (18-26-11, .904 SV%, 3.19 GAA, -5.6 GSAA)

There was a pretty good stretch early in his career in which Gibson deserved to be ranked among the best goaltenders in the league. The past three seasons have been a notable departure from that level of play and the 28-year-old might be inclined to go elsewhere while the Ducks are rebuilding.

If it was peak Gibson, there would be little difficulty in finding a team that would take the five years and $6.4 million cap hit left on his contract. But he is three years removed from peak Gibson, so a deal could be more complicated.

Adin Hill, San Jose (10-11-1, .906 SV%, 2.66 GAA, -0.7 GSAA)

The Sharks are suddenly blessed with three NHL quality goaltenders, with James Reimer and Kaapo Kahkonen joining Hill in the crease. Any of the three could be moved, but Hill might be the most intriguing. The 26-year-old has appeared in 74 games in his career, providing around league-average results, and has one year left on a deal with a cap hit of $2.175 million per season. He would be a strong backup or quality option as part of a tandem.

Semyon Varlamov, N.Y. Islanders (10-17-2, .911 SV%, 2.91 GAA, 4.0 GSAA)

Although the Islanders seem content to run the goaltending tandem of Ilya Sorokin and Varlamov, there is an easy case to be made that 34-year-old Varlamov is over-qualified to play a backup role.

For all the teams that might need a legitimate starter for next season, there is probably a significant enough offer to be made that could pry Varlamov away from the Islanders. He does not require massive investment, with one year at a $5 million cap hit left on his contract.

Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders makes the second period save against the Washington Capitals at UBS Arena on April 28, 2022 in Elmont, New York.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images via AFP.

Laurent Brossoit, Vegas (10-9-3, .895 SV%, 2.90 GAA, -7.3 GSAA)

When the Golden Knights were fighting for their playoff lives down the stretch last season, Logan Thompson was playing a major role in net, and that could make Brossoit expendable now. The 29-year-old is coming off a down season but has alternated between above and below-average seasons for the past five years. He has one year at $2.325 million left on his contract.

Ilya Samsonov, Washington (23-12-5, .896 SV%, 3.02 GAA, -12.5 GSAA)

There was general dissatisfaction with the Capitals’ goaltending in 2021-2022, so it seems likely that at least one of their goaltenders will be on the move. The starter’s job was there for the taking but Samsonov fumbled the opportunity and now he might need a fresh start somewhere else.

Since he is just 25, there would surely be some rebuilding teams that would be willing to take a chance on their ability to get Samsonov, a restricted free agent, back in form.

Vitek Vanecek, Washington (20-12-6, .908 SV%, 2.67 GAA, 0.9 GSAA)

If it’s not Samsonov moving out of D.C., then Vanecek would be the one to go. He probably played more than expected for the Capitals in 2021-2022 and provided around league-average results. The 26-year-old could be reasonably attractive as a trade chip. He is a restricted free agent but has been a competent performer in 79 career games over the past two seasons.

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